Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading.
In this explanatory review, we’re covering Xtreme Sports by developer WayForward:
Xtreme Sports (The Explanation)
Xtreme Sports is a sports-themed arcade game developed by WayForward for the Game Boy Color. It was first released on the system back in 2002 in North America and was generally well received by critics. After 23 years Xtreme Sports and is now available on Nintendo Switch. This isn’t a sequel game but the original title brought to modern hardware with some extra features, which we shall get into in a bit.
In Xtreme Sports, you play either as one of two teenagers; Guppi or Fin. After watching a commercial on TV with the President of the Xtreme Cola Company announcing a special Xtreme Sports competition, Guppi and her boyfriend Fin decide to sign up to take part in the tournament. There can only be one winner but they agree to split the prize money between themselves should one of them win. With the Xtreme Sports competition taking place on an island resort, the pair head off to the island in the hopes of becoming the champion.
Extreme Sports on Nintendo Switch is very much like the Game Boy Color original with the story, visuals, gameplay, and controls all being very much the same. The game features five different sports like surfing, inline skating, skyboarding, street luge, and skateboarding. Each of the five sports in the game make use of the directional buttons, A, and B. You can use a joystick on the Joy-Con or Pro Controller but I personally found it a little easier to work the controls with the D-pad on the Pro Controller.
How the buttons function in each sport differ slightly from one another. For example, when skateboarding, you will need to tap the LEFT or RIGHT in order to move in that direction until you can build up momentum. When it comes to surfing however, LEFT and RIGHT are assigned to moving your character up and down on the screen. As for the A and B buttons, they also have their functions like jumping in inline skating or for performing tricks.
The main goal of the game is to travel around Xtreme Island and collect medals from your fellow competitors by beating them in their preferred sport. In order to beat them though, there are three types of records that you will have to beat; Time, Score, and Flags. Some competitors may only have one or two records for you to beat but there are others that will have all three. If you can beat your opponents with a better time, a higher score and with the same number of flags or more, you will be deemed the victor.
With each of the sports being only a few minutes to play in duration, it is very easy to pick up Xtreme Sports in short bursts. Even though some of the competitors in the game can be quite difficult to beat, there are plenty of easier competitors as well as a practice mode to help improve your skills and become the Xtreme Sports Champion.
On the surface, Xtreme Sports looks very much like a straight up port, it does have some addition features that were not included in the original game. First is the ability to use Save States and Load States by accessing a special menu by pressing ZL and ZR together. You can also alter the appearance of the game to look like you are playing on an LCD screen or increase the size of the central screen. There is also the option of changing the border with a selection of different styles including a couple based on a Game Boy Color screen or with Limited Run themes. The latter of which have most likely been added due to Limited Run Games handling the physical release of the game.
To wrap up Xtreme Sports is a rather entertaining game. The story may not be very deep but the gameplay is pretty addictive. I love the selection of sports in the game with surfing and skateboarding being my top two but the other three are still quite fun to play. I just need more practice to get better at playing them. If you enjoy quirky retro games that don’t take themselves too seriously but are still pretty fun nonetheless, then Xtreme Sports may be one that interests you.
Xtreme Sports (The Gameplay)
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Sports, Role-Playing, Action, Arcade
No. of Players: 1 (Single System)
Release Date: NA|EU: August 15, 2023
File Size: 91 MB